I can imagine for any artist or band out there, there is no greater satisfaction than putting out your debut album, and well for indie-prog duo Portraits, 1st August 2023 shall be forever be cemented in history as the day they brought out their debut record Buy High.
Consisting of members Joseph Anidjar and Joshua De La Victoria, I will be as bold to say that this body of work, is so special that it might very well melt your heart because it is the perfect introduction to the extraordinary potential and sheer craftsmanship Portraits have especially if discovering them for the very first time.
A lot of the time in music the focus primarily tends to be on the vocals or the lyrics, but as a multi-talented pair of instrumentalists, Joseph and Joshua are showing us that the music itself can but just as wholesome and expressive. Imagine for a second you waiting patiently for Matt Healy and the chaps from The 1975 to step on to stage and the general vibe in the room, well having the likes of Portraits and glimpses of teasers from Buy High would just add to the atmosphere.
I don’t usually go for albums which are mainly instrumental, but you know what Portraits have captured my attention to the point where it actually makes it quite refreshing to step out of my comfort zone for a change, and that is purely because this record is challenging the way I perceive music by seeing it in a whole new way.
So if your like me and just discovering Portraits for the first time, let me pick out a few tracks off the album which have helped to draw me in further. My starting point would probably be the title track, Buy High especially the way the track starts with those keys and synth before blending nicely with the rhythm of the guitar. The soft vocals around the 1 minute 20 mark are a nice touch, and i find myself humming along as I take in the rest of the beauty of the song. I feel like clapping and cranking up the volume as the duo are seriously showing from the outset that this record is infused with heart and passion and listening to the track Buy High it is pretty easy to see that radiating through.
Another track which may turn your head and make you drop what you are doing would be Drip. I will share a secret with you, I almost forgot I was writing this review, because when I heard Drip i found myself just embracing the energy, the rhythm and those indie-prog vibes, to the point where I felt like losing myself in the moment because I was enjoying it so much. Its the type of track that I could imagine putting on repeat because it just feels so uplifting to listen to.
My other go-to choice on the album would be Quinten Seventino - other than the play on words making me smile, this number i feel the duo have really shown their creative and diverse side as musicians. Even though its less than 2 minutes long, it is a song which has a lot depth and layers of intricacy to it which just makes me want to say nothing other than the words, wow.
While Buy High is helping to show just how members Joseph and Joshua are bringing out the best in each other and really compliment each others style, the duo give us an extra treat with Sell Low which sees them collaborate with friend Michael Lessard. This I consider is probably my wild card choice of the album because Sell Low sees three great minds merge their talents together to give us something which has so much depth and character to it, and really shows that when it comes to showing how diverse they can be, Portraits are not shy of holding back. If you listen very attentively, towards the end you can hear some good ol’ screamo-esque vocals.
I could go on describing the rest of the album, but I won’t because what kind of guy would that make me if I give away all the trade secrets and not hold back a bit of mystery for you to discover for yourself? Hopefully though I have given you a nice gentle nudge to guide you in the direction of Portraits latest record.
What I will say though before I end, is that Joseph and Joshua should be very proud of what they have achieved through this album, and think given time, the more and more this record flourishes, the possibilities that follow Portraits next are endless. Available to listen to on all major platforms, Buy High is ready and waiting for you! Go grab your copy today!
Article By Thushara S. Chandrasiri